Any trick to using a mitre box?

As you can see in the photo the gaps between the spaces for the saw is wide. Not the arrow stem but the ends of the arrows. We get the smoothest cut using a hack saw. But the blade is much thinner than the space for the blade so we are getting cuts that don't match well to create a 90 degree inside or outside corner. The blade is maybe 1/3 of the width of the space for the blade. So since the space could hold three hacksaw blades we are getting inconsistent cuts. Any tricks? Thanks

Update:

Also as we look at other mitre boxes they have slits almost all the way down to the bottom. Ours are only about 40% from top of the box to the bottom of the spaces. So we have to place some item in the box to hold the 1/4 round high enough so it can be cut. When we cut a piece of 3 1/4 inch molding due to the height of the spaces we were only able to cut maybe 40% and had to turn it over to cut another 40% or use a hand saw to cut the other 60%. 

Update 2:

That mitre box is not hand made. Purchased, as is, years ago and has the price sticker on it. Purchased decades ago. 

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10 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    If you're cutting just a few joints, then use the tips from other answerers, and use the mitre box . However, if you're going to be cutting numerous joints, either rent or borrow a mitre saw.

    Much cleaner joints, and you're done in a snap.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Miter saw box uses a miter saw. Even a handsaw will fit.   Screw the hack saw. Smooth cut can be completed with sandpaper.

    It seems to me that your miter box is a home made job and the table saw blade (or circular saw) & did not reach all the way to the bottom.  You can continue the cut with your miter saw or hand saw to the bottom.   You want a handsaw that has a kerf.aka tooth set. (the teeth alternate leaning left to right to cut a wider groove than the main hand saw blade. (The carbide tip miter saw does not have that lean so the blade binds in the new slot you cut.)

    . Personally I would take it to someone who has a table saw or radial arm saw as that saw blade is thicker than a hand saw (so no binding).  They would see right away that this miter box is not finished on its cuts.

    Also hacksaws are for copper or steel or bronze or brass(not wood)and is used by girls.

  • Mr. P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Use a mitre saw. When you have started the cut at the correct angle - take the wood out and continue sawing it.- The angle of the cut won't change. Just use it to get you started off at the correct angle.

  • y
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Shim the slots so the blade you are using fits properly and the cut is the proper angle.  It will take a little playing getting it just right, bit not too much I wouldn't think.

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  • 1 month ago

    the saw it was made for,cutting large qties of wood impart wobbling and enlarge the angle slots

    you can also using a good  table mounted saw w measures to cut your own mitre box with the thickness you want

  • CB
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You have a saw, cut the slots to the bottom if you want, the angles are usually close enough for gov't work besides I have never seen a properly square room or door frame. 

  • 1 month ago

    You get the best cuts with a miter box by using a miter saw that the box was made for. The BEST advise is either use the miter saw, or DON'T use the miter box. With any other saw, you are better off just marking the cut line and not using the box.

  • 1 month ago

    For most cases, i find that the difference in angle due to saw thickness is not enough to ruin the miter fit enough to notice. 

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    A good mitre box has brass inlays each side of it's slots to ensure accuracy and limit wear. It will be expensive compared to the cheapo in your picture. If you want to cut accurate mitres in seconds buy an electric mitre  saw. They are not that expensive online and are worth every penny. I bought a cheap example a few years ago and it's proven to be invaluable. See link for UK example.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You would use a tenon saw in a mitre box like that, not a hacksaw, the slots are too wide. Mine has metal castings at the top of each slot which help guide the saw, and the slots go all the way down to the bed of the box.  Nowadays people use a (manual) mitre saw rather than a box, especially for larger trim sections, with a captive saw frame for hacksaw type blades, or an electric mitre saw if they do a lot of this kind of work

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